What are the five best things to see and do in Ottawa?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Hayley Bosch

As the capital of Canada, there’s tons to see and do in Ottawa. Whether you’re visiting in the frigid winter or during the beautiful summer, here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the five best things to see and do in Ottawa.
1. Skate on the Rideau Canal. When winter rolls around and the Rideau Canal is frozen over, everyone grabs his or her skates and hits the ice. It’s the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink, stretching more than four miles through Ottawa.
2. Explore ByWard Market. A historic farmer’s market and shopping district during the day that moonlights as a dining destination come nightfall, ByWard Market is the epitome of Ottawa and shouldn’t be missed.
3. Catch a Senators game. You’re in Canada, after all. You simply can’t visit Ottawa without catching a hockey game. Head to Scotiabank Place and join the Sens Army to cheer on the team.
4. Watch the Changing the Guard Ceremony. One great thing to watch in Canada’s capital city is the Changing the Guard Ceremony, held each morning in the summer on Parliament Hill, known for both its beauty and its historic traditions.
5. Celebrate Canada Day. The streets are closed and Ottawa becomes one giant party dedicated to all things Canada. You’ll see people decked out in white and red, fireworks and plenty of renditions of O Canada. It’s the equivalent of being in Washington, D.C. for the Fourth of July.

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